My favorite yoga practice is Vinyasa. I discovered it by chance while doing a yoga retreat in Crete, Greece. When I enrolled for the retreat, I wasn’t yet that involved into yoga and I was more into the pleasure of practicing yoga by the sea than about the real principles of a yoga practice. What I discovered about this style of yoga is that the continuous movement that you create with your body is transformational. And I really loved it. I got totally involved in it. I felt immersed into it, uplifted, as if I was plunged into a meditative dance. I could really feel its benefits on my mind; and after continuous practice my body and spirit. I always ended the class feeling more peaceful, more grounded, and more stable. I felt like the world had stopped for a while and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted it to start again.
Now that I have dived into the realm of yoga (and never intend to leave my practice EVER again, I have come to add meaning onto this specific style of yoga. Vinyasa means synchronized breath movement. This literally means that you synchronize your movement with your breath. You let your breath guide you from one movement to the next. It really is like a dance and what I intuitively felt without knowing much about Vinyasa flow makes a whole lot of sense when you add this piece of information.
Now that I have dived into the realm of yoga (and never intend to leave EVER again.)
What I love about this style is that it precisely puts so much emphasis on breath. Breath is everything. Breath is essential to our survival. It keeps us alive. In Sanskrit, breath is called pranayama. The word is made out of two Sanskrit terms “prana” and “ayama” . Prana means life force and ayama means expansion. So, when you breathe, you let the life force enter your body and this force of life energy encourages your body to expand, to create space. If you think about it, it is much more than mere survival. Not only are we alive thanks to it, it is also that we thrive when we receive it. To me, there is a “spiritual” dimension to breathing.
When I consciously breathe, I imagine that a great force of love is coming into me as I inhale and filling me up with awareness, creativity and happiness. It is assisting me as I grow, to move into my chosen direction. This happens to all of us. We all receive this great gift of life; we all take part in this amazing process. We all connect to the Universe and we all harmoniously breathe together. The Universe is feeding us and we respond to it. We are all one.
Having in mind this new dimension, practicing Vinyasa takes on such a different perspective. You let your movements synchronize with your breath, which in the end is the Universal breath. The flow, the dance that results from this specific style of yoga ends up being a Universal dance. You come into harmony with the Universe and you surrender to it. You let go of your own self and you connect, with love and awareness to become a service to the greater good and others. I think there is no more beautiful image than this one and I love to imagine that we all come as one and unite when we are on our mats.
From the bottom of my heart and the top of my lungs, Namaste everyone.
Namaste: The light and divine presence in me recognizes and honors the light in you.